Royal face a fierce challenge from Thomians
Royal College, Colombo who suffered three successive defeats in their
last three outings will face a fierce challenge from traditional rivals
S Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia in their 50th Guneratne Trophy match at
the Royal Sports Complex on July 14 (Saturday).
The formidable Royalists who began the season with seven successive
victories and were heading the ‘A’ Division points table suffered two
morale-shattering defeats at the hands of Trinity (11-34) and Isipatana
(34-22) which saw them being relegated to the third position in the ‘A’
Division League points table and add to their woes were beaten once
again by Trinity (36-20) in the Bradby Shield return match at Pallekele
eleven days ago.
Royal's lack of fitness and playing of a half fit Arshard Jamaldeen
in the pivotal fly half berth were the main reasons for the three
defeats suffered by the Reid Avenue school.
In the First Leg of the Bradby Shield match the Trinitians scored
thrice in the last 12 minutes to win comfortably while the Isipatanians
who were trailing 20-22 crossed the Royal goal line twice during the
last five minutes to dash Royal's hopes of retaining the ‘A’ Division
Then in the Bradby return the lads from Reid Avenue were leading
20-19 ten minutes before the final whistle before the Trinitians exposed
Royal's lack of fitness to score thrice including an interception off a
wayward pass by Arshard Jamaldeen to emerge victorious.
The Thomians who went down fighting to St Joseph's 26-37 and St
Peter's by 24-36 in their last two games are a vastly improved side and
will go all out to end the seven-year wait by toppling Royal and regain
the Michael Guneratne Trophy.
The lads from Mount Lavinia have some fine players such as Chanditha
Samarasinghe, No 8 Naheed Jainudeen, full back Devin Jayasinghe, fly
half Arthiff Jawarth, winger Danaj de Silva and skipper Randika Peiris
who should give of their best on Saturday.
Royal College boast of easily the best set of forwards in the schools
rugby scene. Prop Eroshan de Alwis and lock forward Wasim Bawa have been
a source of inspiration to their team-mates with their terrific loose
play ably supported by Kaveen Perera, Andrew Siriwardena, Shuaib
Muthaliph, Yasun Weerasuriya, Lahiru Pavithra and Madusha Kularatne who
should once again reign supreme in the loose with a sterling display.